The True Champion of the Poor
Poverty is a serious thing both physically and spiritually and our King Yeshua made it clear that He cared about both, but perhaps spiritually first as that is where the heart would manifest its actions physically. That is what He did, showed His people how to worship in Spirit and in Truth. There are no two clearer example of this than the widow’s mite and when Yeshua talked of those poor in spirit.
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. Mark 12:41-44
You can clearly see that Yeshua didn’t care about the amount but the spirit behind the gift. He recognized her spiritual richness in spite of her physical poverty.
Now to the poor in spirit. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
The Greek word for poor is ptōchos, and can mean destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour. It also can mean lowly. Reading through the rest of the Beatitudes you see that Yeshua is referring to how people walk out the Torah in Spirit and Truth. He correlates this struggle with true riches in His kingdom.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:10-12.
The poverty and wealth Yeshua cares about is our heart of obedience towards His commandments which is how we show we love Him (John 14:15). He aligns this poverty with what the prophets who obeyed the Torah in Spirit and Truth experienced by those who didn’t want to follow the Torah during their time.
The Father, who Yeshua said was His God and our God (John 20:17) said this regarding wealth – Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. Isaiah 66:2
So obedience God’s Word, His Torah (Instructions, ways, divine law), is equated with loving God, which is then how we love our neighbor as ourselves. What is disobedience equated to? The Father in the second of the 10 commandments says it equates with hating him:
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. Exodus 20:4-5
Notice this specific commandment has to do with not worshipping idols, graven images. Well there is a man who is becoming praised more every week for his stand for the poor that leads a religion that regularly breaks this commandment, Pope Francis.
This is a timely article because next week there is a summit taking place in the U.S. where the U.S. President will be participating to address poverty in the country. In this Time magazine article, Francis is being credited with being the reason for Obama and leaders from evangelical and catholic background, along with bi-partisan leadership coming together to discuss poverty. It is noted in the article that Francis will be in the U.S. during election season when poverty will be a big point thanks to him. The article even comments how the summit next week will ask the U.S. presidential candidates to state in video what they will do to address poverty. All these efforts are being credited to the world’s champion of poverty, the vicar of Christ. Here is the link to this weeks’ Time article – http://time.com/3854208/pope-francis-barack-obama-poverty/
Also, worth noting about Francis’ poverty focus is the fact that he is welcoming a Marxist theologian to the Vatican signaling his acceptance of such philosophies – http://www.christiantoday.com/article/why.pope.francis.is.welcoming.a.maverick.marxist.theologian/53805.htm
Next we see leading up to his September U.S. visit which he and Obama will meet at the White House, there is growing excitement among many including the head of the U.N., for Pope Francis to release his environmental manifesto in June – http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/04/28/popes-environmental-manifesto-will-be-released-in-june/
We need to stay awake, the person in the position titled the vicar (substitute) for Christ is quickly merging religion, economics and environment into a new movement that has communists like Raul Castro saying he is so impressed with the Pope that he may return to church, the media praising him, Catholics and protestants along with Jews and Muslims united towards a peace that has the potential to bring about sudden destruction.
Soon people may be caught in a trap and forced to worship the image of the beast.
Tell me, couldn’t the Son of God easily lavish riches on the worldly poor of his day via multiple avenues? After all Satan offered Him all the riches of the world if He would bow down and worship him (a.k.a. break the 2nd commandment along with the others and show hatred for the Father):
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ Matthew 4:8-10
Has someone else accepted this offer?
What palace, church or temple did Yeshua meet people at, what title of honor did He make people call Him on the earth? The Son of the Father, chose to live in poverty with nowhere to lay His head, eat as a poor person gleaning the outer corners of fields which the Torah He wrote and Is commanded over a thousand years before His arrival. Yeshua lived in the temple our Father made for Him:
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. Hebrews 10:5.
Going back to Isaiah 66, which concludes about 10 chapters ending that book talking about the Millennium and the Kingdom of God on the earth, there are a few interesting things to call out.
First – eating swine’s flesh is not looked upon favorably by the King: They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord. Isaiah 66:17
Second – Contrary to the Roman Catholic system and most of protestant denominations, the Sabbath is incredibly important to the Father and it doesn’t sound like something His people can pick and choose: And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 66:23
Lastly, to reiterate the point if Yeshua wanted to make church buildings, temples, be praised by men, merge religious sects, give money to the poor for the praise of the world, we see the Father could easily do that as He says:
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? Isaiah 66:1
Only the One called the Branch, who we know to be Yeshua, the Carpenter, will build His Father’s house and sit on the Father’s throne.
And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. Zechariah 6:12-13
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3.
This chapter is John is the same one where Yeshua says if you love me keep my commandments, and we know from the other Gospels where Yeshua said He only says what His Father tells Him and that they are echad (one).
This temple that Yeshua is building is when the Father and the Lamb dwells with His Bride who chooses to love Him and keep His commandments.
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. Revelation 21:22
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. Revelation 22:1-4
Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Revelation 22:14-15
Let us be blessed for our love for Him.